A man who felt like “everything had ended” after he was left paralysed took part in a hand-cycle challenge for charity.

Robert Groves travelled the 500 miles from Edinburgh to London using the hand-cycle and raised £1,500 for Children in Need.

The 57-year-old set out on Sunday, November 9 and arrived back at the Aspire Centre, in Wood Lane, Stanmore, on Friday November 14.

Mr Groves, a chef who lives in Crawley, suffered a spinal cord injury after an accident eight years ago and for the years that followed, said he became lost in an extremely dark phase of his life.

He was treated for his injuries at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore and no longer has use of his legs, so requires a wheelchair to get around.

He said: “I felt like everything had ended. I was just sitting in my wheelchair doing nothing and it wasn’t until a friend of mine took me to the 2012 Paralympics that I started to feel alive again.

“Watching them all made me realise that there are plenty of things out there for people with disabilities. I finally saw that it wasn’t over and that I could still live a full life even from a wheelchair.”

The hand-cycle was paid for by Aspire Grants and he says the charity has enabled him to realise his passion for exercise and support charities again.

Hand-cycles are low down and the user lies down in it using their hands to pedal, so Mr Groves wore bright colours and was followed by a friend in a car during his five day trip.

Ever since deciding to take up hand cycling, Mr Groves said he has only looked forward and hopes to encourage others to do the same.

He said: “It was like a dream come true to find out my application was successful. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to Aspire.

“This is more than just a sport. By doing this charity work I want to help raise money for Aspire to help other people like myself, to become inspired just like I was.

“When I first became bound to a wheelchair I felt invisible. I was treated differently.

“I want to bring that to an end by promoting the view that disabled people are normal people too and are capable of doing anything that they want to do.”

To sponsor Mr Groves, click here.